This is the start of a Labor Day weekend that feels very different and for obvious reasons.

Everyone I have spoken with in the past week or so has said the same thing, “what happened to summer?”  Our mindset here at the shore is that summer sort of evolves in phases.  It starts with Memorial Day weekend, then it ramps up once schools are finished and hits its full stride right around July 4th.

However if you think back the early part of the season was filled with so many unknowns that it really didn’t even feel like it was summer.  Schools were in flux with end-of-year plans, nobody was sure what the beach and boardwalk season would look like and until June 15th you could only get take-out food from your favorite restaurant.  It was not until July 2nd that amusement and water parks were even allowed to open in New Jersey.

I think what most of us felt was that by the time summer was in full swing it then went by at a very rapid pace.  I will be honest in that I feel like every year summer goes by faster than the year before but that’s me because I want it to move at a snail’s pace and it does not comply with my wishes.

However the summer of 2020, which will go down in history for many of the wrong reasons has flown by like never before.

Here’s another reason was this holiday weekend feels very different for me: there will not be a Penn State football game for me to plan my Saturday around.  Last year we left the beach in search of a place to watch their opener against Idaho and could not find anyone who had the Big Ten Network.  Eventually we did land at Hemmingway’s in Seaside Heights and got to watch most of what would be a 79-7 victory.

The Nittany Lions were originally scheduled to open their season tomorrow against Kent State and then when the Big Ten went to an all-conference schedule only Northwestern became the opponent.  Now that the Big Ten has cancelled its season it means tomorrow I will plant myself on the North Avenue beach in Seaside Park for many hours which is a small consolation.